It has been announced that Energy Transfer Partners have finished drilling under the Missouri River and that fracked oil will flow through the disputed pipeline on March 5th.

I am so saddened at what the current administration considers as important job creation, and I’m also sad about how this particular presidential objective negates huge public rejection to the project in order to boost international corporate profits. There seems to be no weighing of pros and cons, only self interest and greed!
There have been narratives about building infrastructure, but what we need is safe bridges and drivable roads, not a pipeline that enriches others outside of our country. All that said, it is the moral and ethical implications of this project that trouble me the most.

The Dakota Access Pipeline temporarily provided nearly 4,000 jobs during its actual construction period of a little over one year,(made up of equipment operators and construction workers, hotel staff serving construction workers, gas station attendants, waiters and waitresses, and campground managers), but the 1,000+ mile stretch of pipeline will only create about 40 actual new permanent jobs for people here in the United States. All of the other jobs will now end. It will however, produce billions of dollars of new revenue for internationally owned companies and billionaires, and the actual benefit to the average citizen or to our country as a whole is nil at best.
Millions and millions of US citizens came out against the pipeline and the discrimination and treatment of indigenous peoples, and literally millions actually stepped forward publicly in town halls, marches, protests, and in social media postings and petitions. There were so many people against the pipeline project that the White House and other governmental agencies were unable to process the number of calls received and had to shut down operations on their hotlines numerous times.

It is alway hard to second guess our new president, as he is always denying truth and spouting all kinds of conflicting stories, but the one thing that he has remained constant on and which applies specifically to this project, is that he has publicly stated that he always gets even with anyone who challenges him, and that he will use his wealth and power to crush any resistance if he can. He has done so repeatedly throughout his career!
It is important to remember that besides vowing to reward his friends for supporting him in the election, Donald Trump publicly vowed to get even with the Native Americans for building casinos on their reservations, as he felt that they were cutting into his gambling empire. He is supposed to be the President of the United States, not The Godfather!

Presidents have always rewarded those who have helped them in past administrations and that is the way of things, but it has always been in small ways. But no president in history has been as openly vindictive and wielded his power against his own citizens in the way that this particular president is proceeding. It is shameful!
The Dakota Access Pipeline is moving forward, even though several court cases against it are still in process, but the banks which have financed it are taking significant financial hits.
Over three and a quarter billion dollars has already been pulled from Wells Fargo Bank and several of the other larger banks in protest, and we are continuing to encourage divestment from these institutions that are financing the pipeline. We may not have stopped the pipeline, but we can surely use our money to apply pressure on the banks and institutions that place greed over integrity.

Send prayers and support to all those who stood their ground at Standing Rock and let your financial institutions know where you stand. And continue to protest and write letters and to speak out to the White House and your representatives. This issue is not over.

Patrick McCollum